The Big White House on the Hill
by Winifred Banks
by Winifred Banks
Love and support are two of the major building blocks that a mother uses to rear her child. Yes, there is food and shelter and clothing to consider, but these two things make a difference in the quality of a child’s life! In Winifred Banks true story, The Big White House on the Hill, she reveals her great aunt’s constant physical and mental abuse and her journey to find love – sometimes in the wrong places!
Winifred grew up in Florida with her Mama, who was not a kind woman. Sometimes Winifred thought that “…Mama was married to Satan himself because life with her was pure HELL” (Banks 9). Her savage beatings began from the time that Winifred could remember, and many a night she prayed to God to relieve her of her suffering. It wasn’t until Winifred was a pre-teen that she learned her Mama was really her great aunt. This fact relieved her in an odd way because, for years, Winifred could not fathom the thought that a “…woman could carry a child for a full nine months, pray to God night and day that her child be born….healthy…then…treat that child…the way that Mama treated [her]” (9)!
Winifred reveals her story in a straight-forward, and sometimes humorous, fashion. This well-written book captures the struggle of a young girl who is trying to survive abuse and who seeks the love she so desperately lacks at home in any place that she could find it! Winifred holds nothing back in her story, revealing the savage beatings by her great aunt, a teenage pregnancy in a time when it was frowned upon, and the unrequited love of her child’s father. In the end, though, Winifred triumphs over her struggles as she finally learns to live with no regrets. As an adult, she recognizes that her adverse childhood strengthened her faith in God and allowed her to be a better parent than her mother!
From this moment forth, view your struggles differently! Understand that God uses everything – both the positive and the negative experiences - to teach us lessons which help us to grow in the spirit! Look back on your life and appreciate that the struggles allowed you to grow and to change and to become a wiser person than you were years, months, even days ago! And always, always move forward in positivity!